THANK YOU AND UPDATE

I wanted to take a moment to thank readers and visitors alike.  Without you I wouldn’t have realized my dream of being a writer.

I believe there’s a symbiotic relationship between reader and writer; a relationship of trust.

I hope everyone has a safe week and those celebrating Thanksgiving, including our friends in Plymouth, England, a good holiday.

At the moment I’m working on the final edit of Redemption, the next Dragon Core release.

Final edit is interesting.  With most of the hard work done the important aspect is to approach the manuscript as a reader.

It is very hard to disconnect from being the writer at this point.

I need to remember that the story is done.  It’s the grammar or other errors that need a look see.

Missing quotation marks, changing the order of predicates, etc. for readability.

I’ve come to see in recent weeks that what I’m most likely to change is the tense of a verb or helper verb.

There are multiple ways to express an idea.  These subtle tweaks are for smoothing out the flow.

Who writes the rules?  I think I’ve finally managed to exorcise the voices of various literature teachers from my mind when in edit mode.

Especially my beloved fifth grade teacher who thought my relationship with commas interesting.

I have a young friend to thank for this.

For reasons of high irony.

Several months back I was helping her with an English assignment.

Object and subject of a sentence.

I got every one of them backward.

Um…

Though I definitely screwed that one up – and thank God she forgave me though I doubt her English teacher did – I couldn’t help but think of two further ironies

  • though I did well in the classes, I was bored to tears by grammar

I really didn’t enjoy diagramming sentences..

  • Author grammar is far different than school grammar.

And that doesn’t begin to touch on the grammar you need for a college thesis.  Fortunately I was advised of the reference book I needed to use to have my format accepted.

Brain Scramble. I once read about a group of nuns in the US Midwest who regularly lived into their 90s – 100s with no degenerative diseases.  

With few who needed reading glasses.

They agreed to a long-term scientific study which included donating their brains to science.  What came out of the study was that a number of the women were writers and had been for most of their lives.

Writing since adolescence if not before.

I believe the need to continuously relearn and switch gears keeps the brain healthy as new neuropathways are needed to handle the seemingly meaningless need for grammatical change.

As a holistic doctor, I know there are more elements that go into whether or not someone is healthy into their dotage but I found the study rather interesting in light of trying to explain to a student that grammar rules change to fit the circumstance.

Distressing for analytical thinkers like me. Change for the sake of change?

I’m on track to release Redemption for purchase by the end of this month.

Looking ahead.  I completed the first draft of a nonfiction book that is part of a larger project.

Details in the weeks to come.

I’m also evaluating which of three stories going through my mind I want to do next.

Stay tuned.

51K And Counting

Happy to say that Redemption, a Dragon Coreshorter” story is at 53K plus and counting.  And counting.  And…

So much for shorter.  This book is writing itself.

I am always amazed by the fact no matter how many stories I write there’s always a new way, a new angle. 

Something new to learn.

Redemption started as a maybe, turned into a this would work, and evolved into a runaway horse.  Fortunately, I managed to lasso the beast and get things under control.  

I think.

Maybe.  Months back and in response to the global chaos I decided to do shorter stories that were filed under the various sci-fi series I have going.  I quickly kicked out three “shorter” Bite Size Pieces that fit within two of the three series.  

All that was left was to do something for the Dragon Core series.

I was surprised by how difficult it was to come up with a story I was happy with for this series which is itself evolving into more than I imagined when I initially conceived it.

I think it’s because for the depth of passion I include I felt doing something short would “short change” author and reader both.

This Would Work.  As I worked on BeaconRainmakerKarma, and Mirror, I mentally chewed on an idea for the Dragon Core series.  

But it felt lukewarm.

Runaway Horse.  Determined I put fingers to keyboard and forged ahead figuring after I got past the initial “oh my god this is going to take forever” I always feel when starting a new novel, it would smooth out.

Little did I know.

This smoothing out process took far longer than I’m used to.

More than once I worried I was forcing it – never good.

I continued to push through.

What choice did I have?  Quit?  After talking about the story for weeks if not months?  Um – no.

suddenly, like the sun bursting through the clouds, the thing took off.  

Twenty thousand words turned into thirty turned into …

Lasso to the Rescue!  Worried I’d lost the thread of intention if not the story, I took time to go back and read what I had from the beginning.

I’d started the book with a significant event in mind but wasn’t sure where in the story the event would take place.  I worried I’d backed myself into a corner and would have to rip out sections to fix it.

To my relief I ‘d written the book in such a way I could decide later on.

I’d written everything so it could go in either direction.

Rather than just moving on ahead, however, I took time to do research.

  • Podcast of Templar Battle Tactics**
  • Article on sleeping habits of horses

Redemption continues to evolve, dragging me along for the ride.

But I’m holding on.

This Dragon Core story which is a full-length novel that will – as promised – be put under the Bite Size Pieces umbrella will be available for purchase Autumn 2020.

I will work on a landing page in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned!

**To listen to the podcast by JStephen Roberts click here.

BITE SIZE PIECES? NOT SO FAST!

Redemption has been an interesting novel to work on.  I first started toying with the idea months ago but wasn’t sure I wanted to force the issue.

It was basically an option to provide the Dragon Core series with a story that would fit into the Bite Size Pieces category.

Even after I’d gotten to a point where I was comfortable with the plot, I hesitated.

I didn’t know if the hesitation stemmed from worrying I was forcing it which I believed would result in something I wasn’t happy with or just a” point in time” situation that would resolve itself.

Deciding I was happy enough with the plot and confident enough I wouldn’t turn out something I wasn’t proud of, I forged ahead.  And then…

A block or hesitation?  From the get go I stumbled to gain traction.  I considered

  • The First 50 pages

Starting a new novel can be daunting for a variety of reasons not the least of which is this is going to take forever!

  • Mental Fatigue

I’d just kicked out several books in a short amount of time and was trying to get an app launched

  • Is it real?

Rarely have I dropped a story once I’ve decided to go with it but I was open to the possibility that even after completing 20K words my heart just wasn’t in it

  • Inertia

Having completed everything else including getting Event Horizon launched, I’d given myself a break but the break was starting to turn into more than a weekend plus a handful of days

Muse to the Rescue.  That cosmic companion that’s been with me for as long as I can remember urged me to forge ahead.  

I’m glad I listened. 

Not only did I come to understand what was going on, I gained yet another validation of the fact the creative mind is guided.

I continued to work through the lassitude hanging over me and each time I felt ready to give up that little voice egged me to keep on keeping on.

The Muse, a benevolent yet determined task master.

A Break in the Gloom.  Suddenly and without warning, the haze thinned and…

Drum roll…

An entirely different story than the one I’d been working on presented itself!

And yet I did not have to start all over!!!!

For an entire day I could do nothing but mentally grasp the enormity of what was put before me.

Like where the hell did that come from?

Well, I did do more.  I ran with the inspiration and mentally wrote scene after scene – for the next almost 24 hours.  

Who needs sleep when there are characters to meet and plot lines – like trails through a jungle – to follow?

Thrilled, I set to work the moment the awe-induced mental fugue began to clear.

And I’d downed a double shot espresso.

One thing was evident.  This novel was way longer than a Bite Size Pieces piece I’d originally envisioned.

The Go Forward?  Even though this tale will be a full-length Dragon Core story, I’m filing it as a Bite Size Pieces offering.

And pricing it accordingly because that is what I committed to my readers.

I’m really excited about how this novel is taking shape and look forward to releasing it in Autumn 2020.

Stay Tuned!

EVENT HORIZON AND REDEMPTION

Apple announced the release of iOS 14 on Wednesday, September 15, 2020.  Event Horizon is upwardly compatible and will work on the new release.

Event Horizon is currently available on iPhone and iPad.  The code works on the Mac but Apple has a bug that says the Mac version does not work.  It does.

We – along with others in the same boat – are waiting on information about when this bug will be fixed.

Work on Redemption, a Dragon Core Story Short, is going well.

This bite size pieces offering will be available Autumn 2020.

Stay tuned.

mirror now available

I’m pleased to announce that Mirror, a full-length Ghost Games Case File is now available.

I’m hard at work on Redemption, a Dragon Core story.

Redemption will be part of the Bite Size Pieces family.

I’ve also added some new merchandise to my store.

My store is divided into themed sections.  The new merchandise is in the Dragon Core and Event Horizon Sections.

Working Working.  I have several new projects in the queue.

Anticipated releases are autumn and winter 2020.

Stay tuned!

Shuffling the Deck

Listening to Ozzy and considering projects in the queue the way I would cards dealt in a hand of poker and just like with a new hand I’m rearranging them in order to view new and better possibilities.

The difference between playing poker and being a writer is that in poker I play to win whereas as a write the reader is my partner – making it a bit more like pinochle.  I need to make it so we both win.

I actually have an additional party to consider, the website visitor.  Like a dealer at a casino this individual doesn’t have the vested interest the players do and yet they have a natural curiosity that brought them to the table.

Shuffle the hand 1:  I added pre-order to the Mirror landing page as well as an excerpt from the book.

Shuffle the hand 2:  I’m bumping Redemption a Dragon Core tale release date into autumn 2020.

Shuffle the hand 3:  I’m sliding in a new as yet unrevealed Metatron’s Army project I’ve been thinking about for the past few years.

Hold:  Satisfied I have a decent go forward strategy I can proudly report that the app I’ve been working on is another step closer to release.

Stay tuned!

Now if I could only figure out what to do about dinner…

Write, drink, and be merry

So, sitting here in the sunny quiet – in my pajamas – sipping a pinot grigio and finishing the first draft of the short story Karma.

I hope to turn it over to the beta reader tomorrow.  If all goes well I’ll beat my self-imposed deadline for release of this no-cost story that is connected to the Metatron’s Army series.

Though I’ve worked from home for 26 years I too have been impacted by this chaos.

I’m usually out of my pajamas by now. In my defense – there are more people hitting the hot water tank these days.

I am used to working from home though.

I worked for DEC in Santa Clara when they became the first corporation to send workers home; the TC’s at least.

 I learned why I never heard my neighbors in the evening.  They worked hours that translated to incredible noise during the day.  

To deal with this I would drive up into the Santa Cruz mountains to do my work. With no cell coverage it was the ultimate place to work uninterrupted by stupid and useless emails.

I was later on an advisory committee at Hewlett-Packard when they decided to take the plunge.

Flushing toilets heard over concalls was the biggest complaint I explained.

Not even switching to a career that all but screams work at home has allowed me to escape the weirdness of the hour.

But it has spurred an uptick in creativity as I seek an outlet for focusing on something other than the chaos.

I had such good luck getting Karma ready I’ve decided to do another no-cost short story.  As yet untitled, this next work will be connected to the Ghost Games series.

On a lighter note:  I read that California is allowing the delivery of spirits and cocktails.  I figure this will keep crime down and sanity up as people learn who their spouses are and remember they had kids somewhere along the way.

It reminds me of what happens when a spouse retires and decides they need something to do, forgetting that someone else has been managing things – for years if not decades – just fine.

I’ll update readers as things progress.  

Stay tuned.

Here Comes the Sun and more

Working on Karma and enjoying the additional evening sunlight thanks to the switch back to Daylight Savings Time.

And waiting for Congress to give us the waiver so we don’t have to go through the outdated and unnecessary bi-annual process.  We voted to do away with it after all and having lived in Arizona I know how sweet life is when you don’t.

I just finished writing a very challenging scene, challenging because though a vivid moving image in my mind, it is difficult to describe.

My entire body tenses up as I seek to recreate what I see in my mind’s eye on “paper.”

I started my writing career on paper so even though that paper is now virtual, to me it’s still paper.

I’m anxious to finish this shorter story that is part of the Metatron’s Army family.  I’ve really enjoyed working on it and though I went back and reread Adjudication and sections of other MA novels, this story is pretty independent.

The Twelve Star Systems are vast with numerous species living on a number of planets.  Lots of room for stories of those not directly involved with the saga though I do include familiar characters and provide backstory so anyone who hadn’t read MA or Metatron’s Legacy could follow.

I’ve started working with my art team on a cover design though it’s in early stages.  I’m hoping to have a landing page up within a week to give readers an idea of what’s coming.

I’m hoping the book will be ready for download within the next two weeks.

I have a number of projects I’ll be talking about soon, including a new app I developed.

This one was fun.

Stay tuned.

Writing: Let me count the ways

So, lots going on these days.  With Cauldron of the Gods released I’m on to the next projects.

Dragon Core:  Almost finished with the first draft of Shadow of the Gods, a follow-on to Cauldron. 

 I don’t have a projected release date outside spring 2020. 

Working on Shadow has been a lot of fun.  It hadn’t been part of the original series but toward the end of Cauldron I got the idea for it and felt it was perfect as a follow-on so I slipped it in front of Messenger of the Gods which will be the third in the series.  

What I really like about the Dragon Core series is that each book stands on its own to support a different main character with the overall series plot as a backdrop.  This gives me a lot of flexibility and the ability to tell each shifter’s story in detail.  

With Shadow of the Gods I delve into what it means to be a shape shifting alien living among humans as told through the eyes of the humans around them.  Especially, Mica who is the main female character for this book.  There will be plenty of familiar characters from the first book but with a new location and a new perspective it will be unique from the first.

Separate yet related.

Metatron’s Army:  I am working on a series of short stories that are part of the Metatron’s Army family.  

They take place after Adjudication but before Metatron’s Legacy which is set twenty years later.

Karma, first in this series of shorter stories is almost finished.  As a way to introduce readers of my paranormal fiction to my sci-fi writing style I’m going to offer this book to readers at no cost.

I’m hoping to have this available for download within two weeks.

I’ll be posting additional information about Karma as appropriate.

Ghost Games:  The idea for this action-adventure sci-fi series came to me a few years ago when I was about to walk the Embarcadero in San Diego.  

I was going down the stairwell in our building and got a vision/image – a glimpse of the mist that’s on the banner for the Ghost Games page.  I mentally acknowledged the vision then went on the walk knowing I would someday circle back to work on the storyline.

Each story in this series will consist of a “Case file” where readers are introduced to characters whose view of the world will be tested.

Because their reality will be tested.

I have three of the stories under construction.  

I’m really excited about each story and am having trouble deciding which one to release first.  

Other:  I’ve been creating new merchandise for my store, shooting videos, and developing concepts for blog material but I admit this work has been taking the back seat more recently to finishing Karma and Shadow of the Gods.

And I’m really anxious to get to the Ghost Game files.

Stay tuned…